“MANU PAREKH – 60 Years of Selected Works” Exhibition to open at NGMA Mumbai
Manu Parekh is one of India’s most inventive painters. His early work explored the relationship between man and nature, which according to him was an energetic link that had to be celebrated. Since then, contradictions have formed the basis of his artistic practice, no matter the subject or genre of his works.
Polemics have always intrigued Manu Parekh – the energy of the organic form and the inherent sexuality within these forms are intangible elements in his works. His paintings provoke viewers to take notice of the world around them through the emotion, pain and anguish expressed in the subjects of his paintings. His colours and forms exude a volatile energy that can barely be contained within the confines of the canvas, and have become an extension of his personality.
“This exhibition is the first comprehensive survey of artworks spanning nearly six decades of a long creative career that demonstrates the depth and diversity of Parekh's practice. For this exhibition, the artist presents key series entitled Early Works, Rituals & Abstract, Animals, Still Life, Heads and Banaras Landscape. This show also includes a collection of drawings that illustrate his creative process. Manu Parekh is an important modernist known for his remarkable work related to the city of Varanasi that reflects upon his knowledge of the landscape, mapping significant sites of personal and social importance.” – says Adwaita Gadanayak, Director General, National Gallery of Modern Art.
Eminent architect Shri Balkrishna V. Doshi will inaugurate the exhibition and painter Shri Sudhir Patwardhan will release the book - Manu Parekh - 60 Years of Selected Works. The book examines the complete breadth of Parekh’s career, from the 1960s to the present time. Over 250 of his works are included, representing every important aspect of his oeuvre. We see his exploration of ritual in the late 1970s, the legendary paintings inspired by the Bhagalpur blindings and his enduring fascination with the holy city of Banaras which he has explored in great depth over many decades. The book also includes a late career highlight, a monumental work of ‘heads’, completed in 2017, that is based on Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper. Through its exploration of the rich body of Parekh’s work, this book provides unique insights into one of India’s most important painters.
“To gauge the breadth and depth of Manubhai’s oeuvre is unfathomable. His journey has been long and deeply enriched and influenced by his diverse experiences, amidst crafts people in rural India, and these are now woven onto his canvases. His preoccupation with the landscape of Banaras is well known, while his portraits and seminal works on the Bhagalpur blindings add a lesser known facet to this collection of artworks, marking 60 years of his journey. We also present his sketch books, which are fascinating narratives of his day to day life and weave a story of their own, no less fascinating than a dialogue with this mesmerising personality. We hope that through this large exhibit of 150 works at the National Gallery of Modern Art, Mumbai, Manu Parekh’s art be seen contextually in the unique space it occupies in the cultural landscape of contemporary Indian art and painters.” - Tarana Khubchandani, Director, Art & Soul Gallery, Mumbai.
Vivid colours and prominent lines are an integral part of Parekh’s work and each exudes the energy that he attempts to capture. Parekh admits to being very strongly influenced by his surroundings. His stay in the city of Calcutta, for instance, drew him towards Santiniketan and the old masters of Indian art, Ram Kinkar Baij and Rabindranath Tagore. His appreciation of their work, more at a perceptual level than stylistic one, urged him to delve deeper into the thoughts that informed his own oeuvre. Banaras as a city came to play an integral role in Parekh’s work after his first visit following his father’s death. This holy city of hope, of faith, of tourists offered him a vast number of contradictions in one location. Parekh also highlights his relationship with his wife Madhvi, who is a self taught artist, and his admiration for Picasso as key influences on his works.- Window To News